Action Alert!

more episcopal confusion

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 21, 2003

If 80 or 90 percent of persons who develop lung cancer are cigarette smokers, and if only a small minority of the population had a craving for cigarettes, you wouldn't be guilty of smokerphobia if you followed common sense and said it's highly risky to place those with a tendency to smoke in a position where they have ready access to cigarettes.

Then why can't so many American prelates, when they speak about a scandal in which 80 or 90 percent of victims were boys, heed, defend, and praise Cardinal Medina Estevez's common sense directive that a man burdened with the cross of homosexual tendencies should not be ordained? ( Coadjutor Bishop Galante of Dallas has recently repeated the shibboleth that a homosexual orientation is no barrier to ordination, for homosexuals, too, may be granted the gift of celibacy (

Now of course, homosexuals, like those with normal attractions, can by grace practice the virtue of chastity; but why -- to use another metaphor -- assign a person with kleptomaniac tendencies to guard Fort Knox?

Instead of saying that the root causes of the scandal are dissent and the ordination of homosexuals, Bishop Galante blames what he calls "segregated seminaries" -- that is, seminaries segregated from the outside world -- and asserts that most abuse cases involve priests ordained in the 1950s and 60s. However much merit there may be to some of his ideas on seminary formation, doesn't Laurie Goodstein's New York Times study ( show that priests ordained in the 1970s have been more likely to abuse minors than seminarians ordained in any other decade? And weren't the 70s the years in which seminarians were least "segregated"?

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